Jury finds masseur did not molest girl
A 14-year-old visitor accused the Kalihi man of sex assault
A Circuit Court jury took less than a day to find an Outrigger Reef masseur not guilty of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old visitor.
Reginald Comilang, 45, of Kalihi was charged with first-degree sexual assault for allegedly molesting the girl toward the end of a one-hour massage session poolside at the Serenity Spa on Sept. 1, 2006, prosecutors said.
"It's been a tough year for me and my family," said a relieved Comilang, who shed tears after the verdict was announced.
He and his attorney thanked the jury for giving him a fair day in court. "He doesn't know why she made false accusations, but is glad the jury was able to see that it was in fact false," said defense attorney Walter Rodby.
Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Woo said the state is extremely disappointed in the jury's decision and that it does not mean that the incident never happened.
"The state still believes her, and I think it happened the way she described it," Woo said. "There has been no motive for her to lie."
The girl was credible on the stand, Woo said. She and her mother both testified at trial but left for home before the verdict.
It was a females-only vacation in Hawaii a year ago for the Washington state girl, her mother, her sister and an aunt which included sunning at the pool and massages at the Outrigger Reef.
The girl's younger sister was massaged by Comilang first without incident, then the 14-year-old went next. According to prosecutors, the girl testified she was scared to say anything when it happened. But as soon as the massage was over, she reported it to her mother.
Comilang, who retired as a flight attendant from Hawaiian Airlines, has no criminal history and had received his massage license just a month earlier, Rodby said.
Comilang gave two statements to police, at first denying the girl's accusations, then giving a second statement in which he confessed, Rodby said. At trial, however, Comilang accused police of tricking him into confessing by telling him that it would be easier if he confessed, that the family would probably drop the charges and all he would have to do would be to apologize, Rodby said.
Police deny any improprieties.